TN Bill targets sports betting in partnership with high interest lender

A policy reversal effort is underway to deal with a troubling situation that one Tennessee sports betting regulator said “this strikes me as a bit funny from a public policy point of view,” while another remarked, “of responsible gambling [perspective], it hurts a little, but it is in accordance with the law.

In January, the Sports Betting Committee of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation voted 2-0-1- to allow Advance Financial Money Transmission Company, LLC (“AFMTC”) to operate in more than 100 Advance Financial stores. . This decision which allows the AFMTC to facilitate the deposit and withdrawal of funds on Tennessee Action 24/7 sports betting accounts, such as Sport grip first reported Jan. 7. But lawmakers in the House and Senate are now concerned as Advance Financial, which operates in 13 states, is a lender of high-interest, high-risk loans carrying up to 279.5% annual interest rates.

Representative of Tennessee House. Darren Jernigan, who filed HB 824 this week, Recount Sport grip Thursday, “When I learned that there was nothing in the law to prevent it, I thought, ‘You are kidding me.’ The optics from the start are horrible.

“Research has looked at that and found that yes, they can. But we will fix it. Senator (Richard) Briggs dropped his bill [on Thursday], so we’re both there. He’s a Republican, I’m a Democrat. This is a bipartisan bill, so we will implement it and correct this oversight. He’s got legs, that’s for sure. When I told colleagues about it, their mouths kind of went down.

Concern for a whole new class of people

Some of the wording of the bill needs to be reworked to achieve the specific intention, which is to limit the possibility of Tennessee residents using high-risk loans for sports betting. But Jernigan and Briggs were expected to table the bill before today’s legislative deadline and will massage the tongue later. The bill was handed over to the Banking and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee. A hearing date has not been set.

[Disclosure: Better Collective Tennessee, LLC owns the website Sports Handle and is a registered vendor in Tennessee. It is an affiliate marketing company that receives commissions when persons sign up for legal sportsbooks that include, among others, BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel, which are in-state competitors of Action 24/7.]

Meanwhile, on social media, the bookmaker frequently encourages customers to visit Advance Financial sites to make deposits and withdrawals, and at least in the past, Advance Financial sites have distributed flyers advertising the bookmaker Action. 24/7. Under the “Cash Locations” tab on the sportsbook’s website, it says “Action 24/7 has over 100 partner locations in Tennessee for cash deposits and withdrawals. “

Jernigan didn’t mince words when discussing his impression of the apparent partnership.

“This marriage of flexible lending and gambling, they’ve got a business that can lend you money at 279% interest, and one where people have the option of putting it into an account to wager on. money, ”Jernigan said. “This is the literal definition, not the hyperbole, of usurious loan. Except the next day they don’t break your legs. You find yourself in a cycle of debt that you can’t get out of and you go bankrupt.

“There’s a whole new class of people that they’re going to put into this cycle to make money, because do you think an addict is really going to care about 279%? “

Regardless of this “marriage” between flexible lending and gambling, Jernigan is specifically concerned with how businesses can apply funds. “I want to check that, if you have a loan there and you win, does it go to [the patron]? Or does it go straight to the loan?

“On the one hand, some people may find that, oh, great, this is going to pay off their debt. On the other hand, it will encourage people to go gambling to repay their debts. Especially if they win once.

Tina Hodges, CEO of Advance Financial and president of bookmaker Action 24/7, previously refused Sport griprequest for a formal interview.

Discomfort, but yes votes all the same

At the TELC Sports Betting Committee meeting on January 6 where Advance Financial got the approval, there was a discussion on whether or not to go ahead, and a committee member took action. abstained from voting – committee member John Crosslin also provides accounting services to Advance Financial. But Will Carver, a partner at Knoxville law firm Kramer Rayson LLP, and TELC board chair Susan Lanigan, have expressed concern.

“It seems a bit awkward that someone could so easily use borrowed money to put money into a sports betting account,” Carver said. “Due to its location, there is a pause. “

While both were clearly troubled by the link between Advance Financial and Action 24/7, both voted “yes” on the approval.

Advance Financial and the flexible loan / payday loan industry are very active in lobbying and donating substantial money to the GOP caucus on both State and Federal level encourage regulations that allow their lending businesses to operate more freely.

When asked if this bill has ever encountered resistance, Jernigan replied, “Yes it has. [Advance Financial] hired two other companies. They have a full-time lobbyist, but I haven’t spoken to them yet. “

About Hector Hedgepeth

Check Also

Viewpoint: The Global Impact of Barakah: Perspectives

April 07, 2021 The UAE has shown that it is possible to build a new …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.